Sudden Loss of Power Incidents Avoidable Says P&I Club

Press Release
Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The UK P&I Club highlights sudden loss of power incidents, a problem that increasingly occurs during & after the switching to lower sulphur fuels.

The Club reveals that main engine failures or electrical blackouts now amount to 7% of its third party claims property damage in US$ terms. Many were enormously expensive and in some cases amounted to millions of dollars. Ships effectively out of control as a result of these problems have caused extensive damage to berths, locks, bridges, navigational marks, loading arms, cranes and gantries as well as moored ships. Costly collision and grounding claims can similarly be caused by these failures.


Reports from pilots, operating in emission control areas where fuel grade changes have been implemented, indicate that these problems have become quite widespread, noting that ships regularly seem to be experiencing power losses, invariably at critical times in their manoeuvres and which are attributed to ‘fuel problems’.

The Club urges better communication between deck officers and engineers. Around three quarters of all chief engineers questioned reported blackouts caused by starting bow thrusters and deck machinery such as mooring winches or cranes with insufficient electrical power being available.

Engineers also need to warn the bridge of depleted air bottles. Excessive numbers of engine starts/stops during manoeuvring will deplete pressure in the main engine start tanks which can result in loss of control of the vessel at critical times, such as when docking, due to the engine failing to start.  Since sudden loss of power is essentially a matter for the engineers to deal with, many of the UK Club’s recommendations are directed towards the engineroom team.

A shortage of fuel supply to the generating engines accounted for 64 (16%) of reported blackouts, with a high proportion of these attributed to blocked fuel filters. Engineers need to be more thorough when cleaning filters and be aware that if a vessel changes over from higher sulphur fuel (HFO), when marine gas oil is introduced into the system it may act like a solvent, releasing any asphaltenes which then collect in the fuel filters/strainers and clog them.



As the Club says, an extending network of ECAs around the world may well see the problems multiplying for those aboard ship. For example, it was reported that 60% of ships took up to 12 hours to change the main engine over from one type of fuel to another.

Of course the old favourite ‘human error’ has its part to play, featuring in 11% of main engine manoeuvring failures. Frequently it is as simple as “I pressed the wrong button” but it’s hard to get that information out of any ship’s officer!


 


People & Company News

MN100: Conrad Shipyard

The Company: Conrad Shipyard was established in 1948 and is headquartered in Morgan City, Louisiana. The company designs, builds and overhauls tugboats, ferries,

Why Maritime Museums Matter

With today’s focus on digital technology, mobile apps, enhanced reality and the overall digital landscape, the maritime industry often gets overshadowed, leaving some to ask,

Hellenic Petroleum Profits Rise on Higher Exports

Hellenic Petroleum, Greece's biggest oil refiner, posted a 20 percent rise in second-quarter core profit on Thursday, with higher exports offseting lower refining margins.

Marine Propulsion

MN100: R.W. Fernstrum & Company

The Company: R.W. Fernstrum & Company set the standard in marine heat exchangers over 65 years ago, building a reputation focused on innovation. Today, its commitment is to continual improvement,

SMM 2016: World Premieres from around the Globe

Some 50,000 trade visitors from the whole of the world are expected in Hamburg for the start of SMM in less than two weeks. And once again, it is fully booked – with a total of more than 2,

US Navy Ships Conduct Astern Replenishment-at-sea

“While replenishments-at-sea are routine, astern refueling is unique and requires precise navigation and coordination,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jason Ileto, fleet replenishment scheduler for Commander,

Marine Power

MN100: R.W. Fernstrum & Company

The Company: R.W. Fernstrum & Company set the standard in marine heat exchangers over 65 years ago, building a reputation focused on innovation. Today, its commitment is to continual improvement,

US Navy Ships Conduct Astern Replenishment-at-sea

“While replenishments-at-sea are routine, astern refueling is unique and requires precise navigation and coordination,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jason Ileto, fleet replenishment scheduler for Commander,

Better Turbocharger Performance, Proven Tech

Engineer wisdom: Nothing is worse as the right idea at the wrong time. But with the new ECOCHARGE Two-Stage Turbocharging System MAN D&T has reached both goals.

Maritime Safety

Scorpene Submarine Data Leak: Setback to Indian Navy

 India has began multiple investigations to determine the extent of damage caused by the reported massive leak of secret data detailing the combat and stealth

NOAA Engineers a Better Current Sensor for Mariners

Navigating into seaports is now safer and more efficient for mariners thanks to improved NOAA technology that ships rely on to give them information about currents.

El Faro Captain Ordered Crew to Abandon Ship before Sinking

The captain of the doomed El Faro cargo ship sounded an alarm for his crew to abandon the vessel shortly before it sank last fall in a hurricane near the Bahamas, killing all 33 onboard, the U.

Insurance

El Faro Captain Ordered Crew to Abandon Ship before Sinking

The captain of the doomed El Faro cargo ship sounded an alarm for his crew to abandon the vessel shortly before it sank last fall in a hurricane near the Bahamas, killing all 33 onboard, the U.

Investors to Acquire $1.5 bln Shipping Portfolio from NORD/LB

NORD/LB Norddeutsche Landesbank and KKR Credit have reached an agreement by which, subject to completion of certain conditions precedents, KKR Credit, together

Hong Kong Shipping Group Wants Aid to Arrested Ship's Crew

The Hong Kong Shipowners Association (HKSOA) on Thursday called on the city's authorities to provide assistance to the crew of a Hong Kong-flagged coal ship off

 
 
Maritime Security Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1001 sec (10 req/sec)